Been delaying putting this review on as had been waiting on an email from Simon Roberts from Rockliffe which was due during February explaining what was due to be corrected for this New Years event. But nothing has been received. Continuing the very disappointing service we received on the evening.
My wife and I attended the Rockliffe Mistletoe Ball on New Years Eve and sent the following email to them following our attendance.
Before I start I’d like to say that we’re both huge fans of Rockliffe, have visited the Spa on numerous occasions and stayed overnight many times. The Spa and hotel are superb and we can't recommend enough. We have dined in both the Orangery and the Brasserie also and having wonderful experiences recommended you to family and friends.
Based on previous experiences is the reason I’d like to pass on our personal experiences of the New Years eve event, which was made even more disappointing based on the high regard we have for Rockliffe in general.
Upon arrival, the reception room was very full, to the point where the only room to stand was near the door entrance right next to the band making conversation very difficult. The canapés only made it to our side of the room once whilst we waited. The time it did make it the contents were just a handful of the selection left to sample. As it was it just my wife and myself it seemed that the larger groups were given priority.
When we made it through to the main function room we found that our pre ordered drinks hadn’t been processed even though the rest of the table’s had, which was very embarrassing. I had to go back to the bar area to reprocess the order for the drinks and wait back at the table for them to be delivered, and even though I’d asked for the Prosecco to served first and the Rioja to come later they were both opened and delivered to the table at the same time.
The table layout and number of people / tables in the room meant that our chairs were next to the main room thoroughfare meaning we were constantly knocked all evening, there was really too many people / tables for that room.
The meal served was disappointing, my wife complained about the lack of lobster in her lobster for starters, and our beef main course was disappointing to say the least. Whilst serving one of the servers dropped a knife on my wife without any apology. Our neighbours on the table all agreed the food wasn’t up to the standard we’d expected.
I appreciate that the servers / waiters / waitresses were extremely busy, but myself and neighbours on the table all complained that it was impossible to catch someone’s eye. The lady next to me tried several times to get some water without any success.
The music played by the DJ was cringe worthy at best, with the likes of “Jive Bunny” and the like just not fitting for the venue or experience we’d expected and paid for. The band were very good, just not on long enough as the DJ’s choice of music before and after midnight was just terrible.
The piper seemed to be rushed in (as he battled to get through the compressed table layout) and the bacon sandwiches which we left the main room for were non existent and apparently all gone.
Overall and having experienced other New Years balls at (what we would have considered inferior) venues we expected nothing but the best and a wonderful experience, we left feeling extremely disappointed and along with others seated at our table stating we’d not be back for future New Years events.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rockliffe Hall is the only five red star hotel in the North of England. Set on a magnificent 18th century estate on the banks of the River Tees, Rockliffe Hall is a destination in itself. Rockliffe Hall's world-class spa and golf course, well-equipped meeting rooms, three restaurants and sublime service ensure it is the perfect place to escape and relax, to do business, and to create memories that will linger on. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rockliffe Hall Hotel Hurworth-On-Tees
- Rockliffe Hall Darlington/Hurworth-On-Tees